Queen Elizabeth pays tribute to 'kindness of strangers'

By PAN PYLAS Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II has delivered a heartfelt message of hope in her Christmas address, praising the "indomitable spirit" of those who have risen "magnificently" to the challenges of the pandemic.

Seated behind a desk at Windsor Castle, the queen expressed sympathy for the ordeal of the past few months while also laying out hope of a return to normality.

The queen wrote her address, as she does every year, and her words are likely to have added poignancy given the upheaval many families have experienced during the pandemic, particularly in the U.K., which has an official coronavirus-related death toll of just over 70,000, Europe's second-highest behind Italy.

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